I’m settling in at home after a truly delightful trip to Madison Wisconsin. The people I met at the art fair there are just so… Bloomingtonian! That’s the best compliment I can give. They really appreciate art, and fiber art specifically. An enthusiastic crowd turned out this weekend and made the whole trip worthwhile. Twelve of my pieces found happy homes in Wisconsin, which made take down substantially easier. It was almost a sad sight to see the few pieces that didn’t sell nestled in one half of a big plastic tub. That definitely sounds wonderful now, but on the way back the realization that my next show (the Fourth Street Festival here in Bloomington) is less than two months away! I have to get my creative juices moving and start weaving like the wind.
I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself. In the last hours before we loaded the U-haul and drove off to Madison I desperately worked to finish my ‘Summer Salad’ piece. I’ve been really excited about this piece as new elements came together at the very end. I was poking away at tomato slices until the afternoon before we left. It wasn’t until that evening that my world slowed down enough so that I could attach the vegetables. A day or two earlier I still had a rectangular hole that I struggled to fill until I decided that button mushrooms were the missing piece I needed. I really like them, and I’m proud of how the whole piece came together. The composition feels like it has movement, which makes me happy too. Jim thought it was the most attractive piece in the booth and was sure it would sell quickly. A lot of people showed a strong, immediate connection to the piece when they saw it, which was fun to watch. At the end of the show, however, with more bare wall than art in the booth, ‘Summer Salad’ was still there! I’m secretly pleased, though, that the piece will be available for display for Fourth Street—I really wasn’t ready to give it up. Plus, I really want to show it off to my peeps here in town.
I had lots of wonderful interactions with fair goers this year. One woman saw my ‘Vine Ripened Tomatoes’ from last year and really wanted it. She said she regretted not buying it all year, and luckily it didn’t sell during the year. She was delighted to be able to buy it this year. Another couple came in and clearly wanted a piece. The wife couldn’t decide which to get, so the husband sent her out of the booth and picked out the piece he was sure she really wanted. It was just an incredibly confident thing to do. They ended up with ‘The Harvest’, one of my recent pieces with a hand pulling a carrot from the earth. Another couple was looking for a wedding gift for their niece. She was an Indiana University grad with a job in a local food co-op, and they chose my ‘Best Friends Forever’ piece. It features a carrot, onion and beet in an earthy background. I think they were delighted by the name and theme of the piece, which seemed to be a perfect match for the occasion.
While I was off selling art, Jim and the boys were exploring rural Wisconsin with Wendy and Duane, our hosts for the weekend. They were just terrific, making us a wonderful grilled salmon dinner with garlic scape pesto—very garlicky and tasty! The meal was followed up with a dark chocolate bread pudding. The pudding was superb warm and tasty cold the next day. Their help and care made everything about the show easy and fun. I even made a new friend in Buddy, the large white guard dog at the front of the house. And while I was busy during the show, in the morning before I got to explore a little bit of the countryside with my boys. One stop was for lunch at the Viking Café in Blanchardville. Everybody found something they liked and we all left happy. And the boys used their drink straws wrappers to channel the true Viking spirit.
Thanks Wisconsin, Madison, Wendy and Duane, Buddy and Jamie, puppy friend of Buddy! I hope to see you all again next year.
Until next week…